Instagram unveils video service IGTV to rival YouTube

"Five years after the launch of video on Instagram, we are excited to introduce IGTV which brings audiences closer to the creators they love".

Instagram made a decision to build a standalone property, because longer videos are not something people typically want on the main app, where videos are limited to 60 seconds.

There will be a stand-alone IGTV app, but the content will also be available on the existing Instagram app.

Facebook-owned Instagram is joining the likes of Google's YouTube and Snapchat's Discover with the release of IGTV - a video creation and sharing app for the Instagram community. Though IGTV is a standalone app, users will be able to watch it from within the Instagram app as well.

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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at the event, said: "It's time for video to move forward, and evolve".

Notably, the longer-form, vertical video service - which will work as a bolt-on feature to Instagram as well as having a standalone app of its own - is very important to parent company Facebook. As with any social platform, videos can be liked, shared, and commented.

IGTV "will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks" on Alphabet's (GOOGL) Android and Apple's (AAPL) iOS operating systems, according to the launch announcement. For now, there are some restrictions on what accounts will have privileges to record for an hour.

Why it matters: YouTube is still the biggest draw in the industry but with other social platforms like Instagram invading their territory, its grip on the market could be in jeopardy. Viewing the videos is also possible within the Instagram app as well. The user can swipe up to explore a range of long-form videos from tabs like, "For You", "Following", and "Popular".

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